These Are Your Lives

A Virtual Buffy "Webisode"

In an attempt to bring Buffy back, Dawn, Willow, and Riley Finn help the Slayer to integrate the memories of her previous 301 lives. Meanwhile, an old flame enlists Xander's aide in a dangerous quest.

First of all, the necessary disclaimers: Buffy and all affiliated characters are the intellectual and actual property of Josh Whedon and the fine people at Mutant Enemy and 20th Century Fox. I am using these characters without their permission. As this is a work of FAN fiction, by a FAN, I am doing this in part as a tribute to the owners and creators of these characters. I derive no profit from this story except for my own personal enjoyment and hopefully the enjoyment of others. It should also be noted that this particular "webisode" makes direct use of material from the graphic novel Tales of the Slayer, published by Dark Horse Comics. Also, in this chapter, there is a brief reference to a Dracula and Xander centric story in the comic book mini-series Tales of the Vampires, also published by Dark Horse.

This is the fourth "webisode" of a mostly hidden season 8 of BtVS that exists in my head. Of course, this means that I am now directly contradicting canon because there is an official season 8 being done in comic book form. My own storyline is the result of my imaginings about what was going on with Buffy and the scoobies during the excellent fifth season of Angel.

This story is a sequel to the already posted stories "Caliban's Daughters", "One Less Martyr", and "Primitive". If you find that you like this story, you might want to go back and check out these other stories so that you have a better sense of what is going on here.

Meanwhile, some really basic orientation:

Buffy is the reincarnation of the original slayer, the Primitive.

Dawn, it turns out, was a potential slayer after all. She is also a potential witch, watcher, and pretty much whatever else she wants to be.

Willow is becoming a Goddess with a capital "G". She's also the world's newest tech billionaire.

Buffy, Dawn, and Willow together form the "Female Trinity": The Warrior, the Adept, and the Goddess. They are prophesied to be the primary warriors on the side of good in the upcoming Apocalypse (the same one that involves the "vampire with a soul" tipping the balance between good and evil).

The bad guys are the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart, and their representatives: Wolfram and Hart, the Circle of the Black Thorn, and the original Watcher's Council. The Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart are the totemic names of the "shadow men" who founded the original Watcher's Council and, it was mistakenly thought, created the first slayer. They actually created the second slayer after murdering the Primitive and stealing her power.

Among the OC's are the McGraths, who include the world's oldest known activated slayer, 45 year old Lyssa McGrath, Lyssa's oldest daughter, 17 year old Karyn, and Lyssa's youngest daughter, 12 year old Caitlyn. Both of Lyssa's daughters are also slayers (Caitlyn was the girl at bat in "Chosen"), and Karyn was a veteran of the Battle of the Hellmouth. Karyn is Dawn's new best friend, and Lyssa, who was widowed when her husband was killed by Hellbringers who were after Karyn, is now romantically involved with Giles. Also among the OC's are a very young (13 year old) Congolese slayer named Genevieve and Jono, Xander's pilot in Africa. Xander, while not a billionaire, is also independently wealthy thanks to the sale of contracts he owned to rebuild Sunnydale.

Finally, I am writing this story in a present tense format meant to depict what it would be like watching the action on a television screen.

Well, that's about it. Hopefully, if you read on from here, you will have fun:

Giles' voice: "Previously, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer…"

Edna Giles home in the Nottingham countryside

"What is the prophecy, the first prophecy every watcher and every slayer learns?" Edna Giles asks Dawn and her grandson.

" 'Into each generation a slayer is born, one girl in all the world born with the strength and skill'…" Giles begins.

"That's good, Rupert," Edna says, cutting him off. "Did you hear the key phrasing there?"

"I'm afraid not," Dawn says.

"I'm afraid I'm rather at a loss as well," Giles says.

" 'Into each generation a slayer is born'…" Edna says. "Not 'when one slayer dies, another takes her place'. The original slayer was part Higher Being. Her physical body could be killed, and much of her power could be taken. But, her spirit was beyond the power of the Shadow Men to contain. So, the spirit went out and searched for a girl child who otherwise would be stillborn. The spirit would choose that child for her next incarnation. That child would grow up to be the next 'chosen one'."

"So you are saying that Buffy is the latest incarnation of the original slayer?" Dawn says.

"Yes," Edna says. "That's why Buffy's own powers increase with every slayer death. When your friend Willow used the scythe to activate all of the potentials, what she actually did was call all of the stolen power of the original slayer back onto this plane of existence, back from wherever the Shadow Men had hidden it. When one of the other slayers dies that stolen power, instead of going back to wherever the Shadow Men had kept it, now returns home.

"And that home, dear heart, is your sister."

The Slayer Academy in Rio de Janeiro

Two slayers, Ana (who is a veteran of the Battle of the Hellmouth) and Helena, walk into the lobby and to the front door. There is a number pad by the front door. Ana pushes some numbers, and the door unlocks. Ana opens the door.

Our view switches to outside, and faces downward. Ana walks out into the front courtyard, and we see that she is under an enormous shadow. Her eyes and mouth are wide open in terror as we see the shadow move, and we realize it has wings. Helena follows Ana out with an identical expression on her face. Helena starts to aim her crossbow at whatever is casting the shadow.

Suddenly the screen is filled with blue, white, and yellow flame. Our view switches to ground level and we see Ana and Helena instantly reduced to blackened skeletons before being vaporized entirely.

Rio de Janeiro, by the burning remains of the Slayer Academy, and the headquarters of the New Watcher's Council in Devonshire

Willow is standing by her land rover, in front of the still blazing rubble of the Rio Slayer Academy. She is speaking into a cell phone.

"We've had 6 slayers report in who were either out shopping or visiting their families," Willow says. "Other than them and Kennedy, though, we have to consider the other 72 slayers lost."

We then switch to Giles, who is standing in a large atrium. He is on a speaker phone. Surrounding him are several young watchers in training, including Andrew. Also standing among them is Caitlyn McGrath, Lyssa McGrath's 12 year old daughter (although she looks even younger). Caitlyn is among the youngest of the new slayers.

"Is there any chance that some of them survived the attack, and are buried under the rubble somewhere?" Giles asks.

Willow shakes her head sadly.

"You aren't seeing what I'm seeing, Giles," Willow says. "Nobody who was in the Academy could have possibly survived. It's a total loss."

Central Mongolia

Buffy, her eyes red and yellow, is wearing an armor breastplate and fighting among a crowd of Mongol vampire warriors and their vampire horses. In spite of being surrounded, she is holding her own until a desperate Mongol warrior leaps off of his horse and tackles Buffy to the ground. Others immediately pile on to hold her down, and with a great deal of difficulty, they succeed in doing so. It is clear that Buffy is much stronger than not only one of them, but several of them. One of the warriors, his garb more colorful than the rest, steps forward, and two of the vampiric mounts move aside to let him through. This is Khan, chief of the vampire warriors.

Khan speaks in his native language, and we see what he is saying in subtitles.

"Hold her down, and I will put an end to the slayer once and for all," and so saying, Khan raises his sword to, in all probability, cut off Buffy's head.

However, the next second, Khan's look of triumph changes to one of confusion, then fear. We hear startled growls, then screams of fear from the Mongol vampire warriors. A splatter of blood strikes Khan's face. Then, a great cloud of dust obscures our view of Khan as we hear sounds of dreadful, bone crunching and flesh tearing violence.

Our viewpoint shifts so that we are now looking at the cloud of vampire dust from the outside. A Mongol vampire warrior stumbles backwards out of the cloud. It is Khan himself. With a cry, he swings his sword back into the dust cloud. In mid swing, the sword is yanked out of his hand. Then an arm reaches out and grabs Khan by the throat. Another hand smashes into his chest, through the breast plate, and comes out with his heart. Both Khan and the heart then implode into dust.

"B…Buffy?" Dawn whispers.

Then a figure emerges from the dust cloud. Although clad in Buffy's clothes, she is not Buffy. She is hunched over. Her hair is dark and when she shows her face, it is human and yet very different. The face projects, the teeth are huge.

She looks at the slayers, who are all standing in stunned silence.

Then the Primitive throws back her head and howls. The howl sounds like a cross between a multitude of female voices and the roar of some prehistoric beast.

"I really don't think that's Buffy," Karyn says.

The Headquarters of the Circle of the Black Thorn

From within the great, almost football field sized glowing stone meeting table of the Circle of the Black Thorn, the Master of the Circle speaks.

I burned the Slayer Academy in Rio to the ground, with at least 70 slayers inside.

For a moment, there is stunned silence. Then, there is the sound of applause. Finally, the members of the Black Circle stand up as one and start to cheer loudly.

"Well done, Lord!"

"That will show those bitches who's the boss!"

"The False Watcher's Council must be crying in their beer by now!"

"Here! Here!"

"So Lord, exactly what did that accomplish?"

The cheering abruptly ends. In the nervous silence that follows, the members of the Circle back away from the table, all except for the individual who dared to ask the question:

Dracula.

To answer your question, Count, I refer you to my guest.

With that, the elevator at the head of the stairs above the Circle's great table opens. Walking out is a cloaked figure. At the head of the stairs, the cloaked figure throws off the top of her cloak and stands revealed as a handsome dark haired woman of about 50.

Obviously a traitor to the Devonshire Coven of which she is a high ranking member, and to the new Watcher's Council, the newcomer stands revealed as Althea Giles!

Miss Giles?

"As predicted, the power from the dead in Rio went straight to Buffy Summers," Althea Giles says. "Consequently, the Buffy Summers personality was overwhelmed. The Primitive now stands in her place."

Again, a loud muttering is heard around the table. Dracula laughs.

"Of course," he says. "The Primitive had no regard for or interest in humans, only for the full demons she hunted. As such, she is useless to the Female Trinity until her Buffy Summers personality is restored."

Exactly, Count! And while they try to rescue Miss Summers, we are going to be busy.

Mr. Vanderveer!

Unleash your Runners!

"Of course, Lord," Vanderveer says. "But I thought the Johannesburg Academy had already been evacuated."

It has. The target is not the slayers who lived there, but the man who led the evacuation.

I want the Runners sent after Alexander Lavelle Harris. He is the last target anyone would expect us to go for, but each member of the Trinity will be devastated by his death.

Upon hearing the words of the Master of the Circle, however, Dracula does not look pleased with the idea.

Castle Dracula

Dracula is standing in front of his fireplace. Out of the fireplace, two voices, male and female, speak simultaneously.

"Wwhy ddid yyou cconact uus wwith tthis iinformation?" the voices ask. "Wwe bbelieved yyou tto bbe aa lloyal mmember oof tthe Ccircle oof tthe Bblack Tthorn."

"I am in most things but…" Dracula says. "But I have come to like Xander Harris. He stayed with me not long ago and he amused me greatly. He taught me how to ride a motor scooter."

"SSo yyou wwish uus tto rrescue yyoung Mmr. Hharris, iis tthat iit?" the voices say.

"Yes," Dracula says. "Yes I suppose I do."

"Tthe Llord oof tthe Ccircle wwould ddeal hharshly wwith yyou, Ccount," the voices say. Iif hhe kknew oof tthis cconversation."

"Even the Lord of the Circle can not destroy me," Dracula says. "Nothing can until the world truly and completely ends. You know that. Still, you are correct. He could make my existence unpleasant for a very long time.

"So, will you help him?"

"Yyes," the voices reply. "Wwe hhave aalready ssent aa ppowerful aagent wwho wwill bbe vvery mmotivated tto pprotect hhim."

Johannesburg

"Alex!" Genevieve says, pointing down the street.

Xander turns and looks where Genevieve is pointing. Our viewpoint switches to what they are looking at. Five men, naked or nearly naked, are running towards them. Two of them are on two legs, but the other three are running on all fours! The three on all fours are not at all awkward, they are bounding with an unnerving grace. And they are moving very fast.

"Runners!" Xander yells. "And they're coming this way! We gotta get outta here!"

Genevieve steps in between Xander and Jono and the pack of Runners. As they get closer, we see that their eyes are black pits, and their teeth are not human looking at all. They look like the teeth of deep sea fish.

"Look out, Genevieve, their bite is poisonous!" Xander yells.

Jono does not have time to translate to Genevieve before the nearest of the Runners leaps towards Xander. Genevieve tries to intercept it, but it moves far too quick for her. Xander raises his hands defensively but before the Runner lands on him, a crossbow bolt strikes the creature's midsection, and it falls to Xander's side. It tries to get up to bite Xander, but another bolt strikes it in its left black eye, then a third hits its right eye. The creature falls and starts to convulse. Xander looks up and we see what he sees. The other Runners are also convulsing with crossbow bolts sticking out of them. Genevieve looks confused. Jono looks in the direction the crossbow bolts came from and then taps Xander on the shoulder. Xander turns and follows Jono's gaze. His eye widens in obvious surprise.

"What are you doing here?" Xander exclaims.

Cordelia Chase, looking lovelier than ever, tosses her long brown hair back with her left hand. Over her right shoulder, she balances a rather large, powerful looking crossbow.

"What does it look like I'm doing, Harris?" Cordelia says. "I'm saving your ass."

Mongolia

"Who are we waiting for?" Vi asks as she and Dawn stand together.

"You'll see," Dawn says. "In fact, they're already here."

The next moment a huge black helicopter, a flying gunship, appears over the rise as if out of nowhere. Soon, it is hovering above them, and a figure drops out. After falling about 30 feet, the figure lands on her feet and runs towards the two slayers. As she gets closer we see it is Faith, dressed in Initiative black and carrying something wrapped up in canvass.

"Glad to see you, Faith," Dawn says. She has to speak loudly over the helicopter.

"When it comes to B, nothing keeps me away," Faith says. "I wouldn't be where I am today without her."

Faith then turns and looks at Vi.

"So you brought the 'Red Death' herself to play with us," Faith says. "Bringin' out the big guns! Cool!"

Vi looks embarrassed.

"Hey Faith," she says. "What do you got there?"

"Show her," Dawn says.

Faith pulls the canvass away with a flourish to reveal the scythe.

"What's that for?" Vi asks.

"That weapon is tied to the Primitive," Dawn says. "It's why Willow was able to use it to call the power of the Slayer. The Primitive's power from the Primitive's weapon."

"So naturally, the Primitive is gonna want it back," Faith says.

"So let me get this straight," Vi says, turning to Dawn. "We're going to play keep away with your sister, who is no longer your sister, until we get her to chase us into an abandoned underground missile base, and hope that somehow she doesn't kill us in the chase."

"Right," Dawn says.

"How do we lock her in there without getting trapped in there with her?" Vi says.

"We don't," says Dawn. "We'll have to be in there with her!"

Mongolia, inside the abandoned missile base

The Primitive pounds on a mystic barrier, one that Dawn created with her witchcraft. We see flashes of green light where the Primitive's fists strike. The sound of the pounding echoes off of the walls. Dawn cries out and falls to her knees, her nose is now bleeding.

"Dawn?" Faith says as she drops to her knees beside the younger slayer/witch.

"Get away from me!" Dawn says. "I'm the only one who can stand up to her even for a little while."

"Are you kiddin'?" Faith says. "You ain't even standin' now!"

Dawn, her eyes now glowing green, turns towards Faith.

"Go now!" she says. "Get Riley! We can't blow this now!"

Faith gets up and runs around the corner. We still hear the pounding echo off of the walls.

"Hey Major!" Faith yells. "We need your help! Now!"

Riley Finn steps around the corner. His shirt is off, although he is still wearing his black pants and boots. His head is now shaved, and his arms and upper body are lined with tattoos of mystic symbols. Combined with the scar we first saw him with in As You Were, Riley now looks more like a movie serial killer than the Apple Pie Captain America type. In each hand, he holds a machine pistol.

"Step aside, Faith," he says.

Our viewpoint now switches back to the Primitive and Dawn. The mystic barrier has fallen. The Primitive now has the scythe in her right hand. She is holding Dawn up by the throat with her left. The Primitive raises the scythe as if she is about to strike Dawn down.

"B…Buffy?" Dawn says.

The Primitive then brings the scythe up to strike Dawn. Riley fires his machine pistols. The Primitive's back is literally peppered with tranquilizer darts, but they seem to barely penetrate the skin, and the Primitive doesn't even turn around.

Dawn opens her eyes. Her eyes glow green, and so do the tears running down her face.

"Buffy please!" Dawn pleads.

The Primitive pauses. We now see confusion on her face.

Then our view switches to behind the Primitive as the darts are all suddenly pushed into her back by a mysterious invisible force. The Primitive weaves on her feet before dropping the scythe with a ringing clang and falling on top of Dawn.

"Riley, did you do that?" Dawn asks.

"No, I was trying, but I wasn't strong enough," he says. "Someone helped me, someone stronger than I am. I thought it must have been you."

"Nope, it was just little ole me!" we hear a familiar voice say. We then see Willow walk around the corner. Her face looks drawn, and she looks as if she can barely stand.

Devonshire, the headquarters for the New Watcher's Council

"The Primitive was the last of her kind," Giles says. "And her job was done. The old demons were extinct, so there was no longer anything for her to hunt.

"Indeed, there is no reason to suspect that the Primitive had any use for our species at all."

"And now she's back," Andrew says.

"Yes," Giles says. "She's back; a violent, vastly powerful primordial demigoddess walking the earth without a purpose. An alpha predator with no prey.

"I can't see how this can possibly end well."